I’m extremely passionate about movement. It’s a natural and essential part of life, and yet, overtime we’ve built our world to become more comfortable and safe. To allow us to cram more ‘stuff’ into our day, we’ve inadvertently created debilitating environments, which minimise physical effort. We sit travelling, we sit working, we sit meeting. I’ve just been sitting typing this now and you’re likely to be sitting down whilst reading this too.
You only have to look at the health of the nation and statistical forecasts, to see the repercussions of inactivity. In 2016, the NHS spent over £16 billion a year is spent on treating diseases, which could have been prevented with lifestyle adjustments. Did you know that more money is spent on treating obesity-related conditions than on the police or fire service?
We are robbing ourselves of our birthright to move and it’s not only affecting our health and wellbeing, but also our performance, our productivity, our relationships and the environment too. This makes me both mad and sad- for so many reasons.
Many people see exercise as an add-on activity at the end of the working day. They go to the gym to sit on a bike, or run on a treadmill – if they have the time. It’s quite interesting to track back over the years, to when we started to de-value physical activity. Back to when the occupations and jobs symbolic of wealth and status, become roles where you used your head and not your hands.
We need to re-frame physical activity and educate people to understand that movement is fundamental to life because, after all evolving brains inspired movement.
Did you know that the original need for the nervous system was to coordinate movement so an organism could find food instead of waiting for food to come to it? Jellyfish were amongst the first animals to develop a nervous system – so that they could go and get food rather than the sponges that waited for food to come to them.
Now things have come full circle.
I’m on a mission to motivate and empower people to move, in creative and innovative ways. I want to change the sedentary culture and social norm.
In the workplace – educating employers and employees about how movement improves performance and productivity, improving mental resilience, decision-making and problem solving. How movement is something to do when you feel stressed, rather than staying stuck and stagnant as you strive to find the solution and overcome the challenge in a stressed out seated position.
In schools – helping teachers to understand how movement is cognitive candy for the brain. Enabling our teachers and children to benefit from daily movement practice- after all, our brains evolved walking for 12 miles per day!
At home and in our communities- telling stories about the jellyfish and sharing ideas in which movement helps to improve our relationships with our families and friends, improving connectivity, wellbeing and quality of life.
What movement challenges do you face at home and at work and what action can you take to overcome them?
Begin by making a list and then pick one behaviour, which you can start with- just one. Don’t fall into the trap of expending too much effort attempting a lot of change at once. You can make more adjustments as the weeks go on. Remember, there is no rush, this is not a fad, it’s a lifestyle change.
It’s all about breaking patterns. Take frequent and regular action. Notice, document, help and inspire others with your success.
You can do this and as always I would love to hear how you are get on.